Surf’s up ​

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Me with my surf board. Not looking cute but definitely feeling accomplished. Location: Santa Monica, California

I tend to favor risk. I like risky sports, risky travels, and risky experience in general. That’s not to say I have a death wish. I keep my risk level at a comfortable spot and alway attempt to be as safe as possible. Let it be said here that I do not condone stupid and reckless decisions. Use common sense please people.

The truth is though, that safety and security are an illusion. You can do everything right in life but eventually, life is gonna get you somehow. I know this a little too well. At 19 I was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and was lucky enough that it was treatable but my teenage invincibility complex was forever shattered. At 20 my flight to London from Houston experienced severe turbulence. There were a few dark moments when I and all the other passengers that day believed that this might be it. We made an emergency landing in Shannon, Ireland and while 18 people were hospitalized (I wasn’t) we all survived. If you want to read about that one click the link below.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/31/europe/ireland-houston-london-united-flight-turbulence/index.html

These are only two experiences but at 21 I am starting to feel like a cat. I am burning through my nine lives rather quickly but that’s okay. All I can do and all any of us can do really is live in the now and try to have as much fun and help as many people as we possibly can along the way

So do things that scare you. Life is short, and I want to experience all of it. I want to keep crossing items off my bucket list and continue to add new lines to the bottom of it until my hour glass runs out.

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The old unmarked van I met my instructor at. I found the sketchiness a bit amusing. Location: Santa Monica, California.

With that in mind, surfing is a sport I’ve always wanted to try. My parents, however, were not a fan of this activity and so I decided to rely on the age old wisdom, tis better to ask forgiveness than permission. I signed up for a surf lesson with a local instructor named Matthew at the Santa Monica surf school, got an Uber and headed there to meet him.

I’ve never been surfing before but I assumed it would be difficult. It certainly was but my instructor was so nice and encouraging. He taught us the fundamentals on the beach then we paddled out to catch some waves.

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Sand filled surf van. It was so cliche I had to take a picture. Location: Santa Monica, California

Surfing, like many sports, is a great (even if cliched) metaphor for life. If you are like me, you fall over and over again. You get beat up by the waves that keep coming at you whether you’re ready or not. You have to fight to control your body and face the onslaught. To be successful you have to work with the onslaught. You fall over and over again but have to keep pushing yourself to try again. You feel exhausted and beaten by the powerful forces beyond your control. You feel humbled as you realize your insignificance in the vastness of the ocean and of life. Eventually, you have to take a break and allow yourself to rest so you can go on to surf another wave tomorrow.

It was a positive experience that still managed to remind me of the tough stuff. There was a lot of times I wanted to quit. I am really small and the waves in Santa Monica were big and tough. My limited strength seemed to fail quickly. I was glad I did it though. I want to continue to challenge myself and grow with new experiences. Surfing is one I can say I’ve done now. I am sunburned and know I am going to be sore as can be tomorrow but that’s okay. I did something tough, active, and fun. Despite my lack of talent for the activity I still feel a sense of pride for going for it.

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Under The Santa Monica Pier. Location: Santa Monica, California

Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do but felt scared to or made excused about the inconvenience I would encourage you to go for it. Do it tomorrow if possible. If not make plans. Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Encouraging you to take the risk with love,

Paige

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